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What do you think of the single bay $100.00 Synology DS119j ?  

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https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-reviews/33216-synology-ds119j-100-dollar-nas-reviewed

You do need to add a disk, but you can add 4TB for less than $100, so for under $200 you have a Synology NAS.

 

If you are not ready to fully commit to having lots of storage on a NAS device, this is a way to get comfortable with Synology NAS. You do not get any experience with the multi-device RAID option and limitation, but all the other Synology NAS services would be there. And Synology does offer a lot of packages you can run on a Synology NAS. Your own private Dropbox, your own private notes app, a media server, Time Machine backup drive, web server, VPN server, etc...

 

In comparison, my introductory cost was closer to $1,000+ between the 6-Bay Synology and then getting six 4TB drives to populate it.

 

So under $200 is a great way to get used to a Synology NAS environment.

 

Just be aware, that if this NAS is for backup, it is fine. If this is storing files to off-load from exiting Macs, PCs, etc... then it is not protected from device failure. RAID is not full protection, but it at least protects you from a single disk failure (if you have enough drive bays, you can go for 2 disk redundancy and protection against the loss of 2 drives).

 

I'm not saying this is essential, just something to be aware of.

2 Answers
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I don't think a 1 drive NAS is a good idea, even at 200$. You have NO redundancy at all. Even a two drive bay unit is limiting since if you want to have the redundancy, you lose one drive. 4 bays unit are pretty much it, you can start with 3 drive and have the space of two drive and one for redundancy. So if you have 3X4TB, you have 8 TB of actual space. And you have room to grow if you want with the last bay. Or you put bigger drives, it's up to you. I understand why someone how just want to see how it works without investing the money to do it would gravitate towards a single drive bay unit, but you're not getting the benefits from a NAS when you're doing that IMHO. Anyway, just my 2 cents.

That was my first thought, but then I realized that there are a lot of people that have single drive USB devices they are using for backups. This would be no different, except accessible via the network and not needing to plug it into the Mac. Plus the benefits of learning about Synology features.

And being a single drive, I do suggest mainly using for backup, not archival storage, nor a way to off-load storage of important information.

A 4-Bay diskless Synology is going to be in the $300 range, then throw in your 3x4TB disks at say $75 each and you have jumped from under $200 to over $500

And yes, I might consider that cheap money for a good backup system (OK, mine was $1,100+), but I'm not everyone, and not everyone's spouse is as understanding about spending for tech toys.😀

Thank for your thoughts. My use case is to be able to access files remotely and to serve as another backup for photos and the OS. I routinely backup both using Carbon Copy Cloner and use iCloud photo storage. The other Synology tools would be a bonus.

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I'll repeat myself but I don't think moving TimeMachine on the NAS is a good move if you already have it on an external drive. If you make it a second destination, fine, but not as your only backup.

Thank you for taking time to comment on my post. I do not use TimeMachine, but I do use Carbon Copy Cloner and maintain 2 copies of both photos and my system so I won't get caught.

Just so you know, you'll have to make an image file and clone to that, and your "clone" won't be bootable from the NAS either.

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